We may know the changes we need to make for a healthier life, but finding motivation to get started or keep going is the difference between success and failure. Work through the list below to get started.
Hot tip: talk through these items with your Options weight loss counselor to get extra support and encouragement!
Find your “why”
If you don’t know why you’re heading down this path to weight loss, you won’t commit to it. The big umbrella reasons are typically health, energy, looks… but go beyond that and be honest with yourself. Are you lacking energy to play with your kids? Do you hide in the back of pictures? Has your doctor brought up health concerns such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or cardiovascular concerns?
THEN brainstorm what you want your life to look like: Comfortable in your clothes, energy for your kids and/or partner, stamina for a hike on your vacation, positive labs at the doctor. This is the true WHY! Keep these things in front of you on your weight loss journey.
Decide that YOU are worth it
This may be the biggest challenge to starting and staying on track on your weight loss journey. We all have reasons that make us think we aren’t worth the investment of time, energy, finances etc. to get healthy. No matter what brought you to the point you’re currently at, you are worth taking a step toward health. Get people in your life who will help remind you of this when you lose sight of your worth (see the next point).
Don’t do it alone – have support – a weight loss counselor, workout buddy, weight loss community, supportive friend or significant other.
Having a support system can make a difference in your weight loss in many ways.
- You can feed off other’s motivation and enthusiasm.
- Having a friend or significant other making healthy choices with you can be an encouragement and accountability to stay on track.
- An Options weight loss counselor is a helpful person to process the challenges and celebrate wins.
- Many people find supportive environments in reaching goals at their gym or in weight loss communities online.
Set SMART goals
Goal setting doesn’t come naturally for everyone. The SMART goalsetting system was created to give you a framework to set and achieve goals. Run your goal through these criteria and adjust as needed.
S – Specific – State exactly what your goal is. Goals that are too general are easily forgotten or set aside.
M – Measurable – Use metrics or data to evaluate the goal. IE lose __ pounds
A – Achievable – Is the goal attainable? Our InBody scales give suggested weight loss numbers for health. Going beyond these may not be attainable in healthy ways.
R – Relevant – Does the goal relate to a broader aspiration?
T – Time-bound – Choose a reasonable timeframe to achieve the goal. Achieving success can spur us on to reach further goals, so don’t set the timeframe too far out! Completing a larger goal is typically achieved by the summation of smaller goals. Do you want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro? You’ll complete a handful of progressively challenging, but smaller training hikes to get ready.
Track your progress
Keep track of exercise, food eaten and how you feel. This will give you a better understanding of how your body works. It can also help identify triggers for overeating. Studies show that more people achieve their goals if they write them down and keep track of their progress toward a goal.
What sends you to the pantry for a snack other than hunger? Boredom, anxiety, overwhelmed, drinking with friends, in-laws, kids fighting, job stress, financial challenges, sadness. Everyone’s triggers are different. Identify yours and then set a plan to address that trigger when it’s NOT currently happening! Plan ahead and you’ll be better able to deal with the trigger when it happens.
Make new habits
Oxford Languages defines a habit as “a settled or regular tendency or practice”. Often habits have a negative connotation, but they’re our life patterns: good, bad and neutral. Identify the habits that are contributing to an unhealthy lifestyle (a weight loss counselor can help you do this!) and address them head on by implementing a positive habit change.
A few examples:
- Listen to an audiobook only when you exercise, so you’ll be excited for the next exercise session.
- Cut up vegetables on the weekend, so you have them ready throughout the week.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
Expect setbacks and challenges – don’t give up!
Weight loss is a journey not a race. There will be setbacks and challenges. Plan for what you can to overcome setbacks and do your best. Giving up is the only failure, everything else is just a part of the journey.
Remember you’re worth it, lean on your support system and to quote Disney’s Dory, “just keep swimming”!
If you’re interested in a program that includes counseling sessions, schedule a free consultation today!